Bolivia + 3 more

Latin America & The Caribbean - Weekly Situation Update (5-11 October 2020) As of 12 October 2020

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Situation Report
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Posted
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REGIONAL: COVID-19 Cases are referenced from PAHO/WHO 11 October COVID-19 Report - https://bit.ly/2O25YQw

As of 11 October, there are 10,096,407 cases (+4.5 per cent from 4 October), 368,519 deaths and 8,499,059 recovered cases in Latin America and the Caribbean.

KEY FIGURES

10M CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN AS OF 11 OCTOBER

231M PEOPLE PROJECTED TO BE IN POVERTY IN 2020, A SETBACK TO 2005 POVERTY LEVELS

REGIONAL IMPACT

The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) published its 2020 economic survey for the region, which indicates that economic recovery from the pandemic will be slower than the return to productivity after the 2008 global financial crisis.

The survey details the various effects of COVID-19 on regional economies, including forecasts that GDP will regress to same level as 2010, marking a sharp setback and increased inequality and poverty. The survey also forecasts 2.7 million businesses to close in 2020, with unemployment set to rise to 44 million people, some 18 million people more than the end of 2019. Some 231 million people will be in poverty by year’s end, a 15-year setback to poverty levels from 2005.

CENTRAL AMERICA: MIGRANTS & REFUGEES

KEY FIGURES

3.7K HONDURAN MIGRANTS IN 30 SEPTEMBER CARAVAN RETURNED FROM GUATEMALA

GUATEMALA

After 4,000 people left the northern Honduran city of San Pedro Sula for Guatemala en route to the United States on 30 September, the Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) reports that more than 3,700 people in the so-called migrant caravan have been returned. Under a state of prevention declared for states where migrants were crossing, Guatemalan security forces detained and returned thousands who had forcibly rushed past border checkpoints without presenting the required negative COVID-19 tests.

The remaining migrants are travelling in groups of 10 to 15 people, with most heading for the northern Petén department. Various humanitarian organizations are providing water, food, hygiene kits, masks and sanitizing gel to the migrants. The Protection cluster is monitoring the situation and stands ready to help if required. IOM deployed a team to Petén to identify needs. UNICEF psychosocial support personnel are present at shelters near the Corinto border crossing, supporting Government response for children and unaccompanied minors.

HONDURAS

The Honduran Foreign Ministry reports that at least 83 per cent of the caravan’s participants have returned to their homes. UNHCR, World Vision and the Honduran Red Cross assisted more than 1,000 returnees at the Omoa reception centres with food, hygiene, first aid, transport and the restoration of family links, with OHCHR monitoring rights situations at Corinto and at Omoa. Calls for future caravans continue to circulate in Honduras, with one set for 30 October and another for January 2021.

MEXICO: HURRICANE DELTA

KEY FIGURES

39.6K PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN MEXICO EVACUATED PRIOR TO HURRICANE DELTA

Hurricane Delta’s impact after making landfall as a Category 2 storm near Cancun early 7 October has not been as severe as initially anticipated. Despite numerous flash floods that have cut off access and disrupted power, neither national Civil Protection nor the state governments of Campeche, Quintana Roo or Yucatán have reported any deaths or injuries.

Authorities managed to evacuate 39,000 people from high-risk areas in Quintana Roo and more than 600 in Yucatán. Civil Protection reports more than 3,700 people across 125 temporary shelters between Quintana Roo and Yucatán. Yucatán reports only 44 flooded homes and two affected health centres; Quintana Roo reports 22 affected health centres.

Civil Protection teams remain in the field conducting assessments, which so far indicate material damages well below the expectations of a Category 4 storm lashing the Yucatán peninsula. The National Emergency Committee remains active and is coordinating response with Local Emergency Committees in the three affected states.

BOLIVIA: WILDFIRES

KEY FIGURES

1.4M+ HECTARES OF LAND BURNED ACROSS BOLIVIA BY 57 ACTIVE WILDFIRES

The Government declared a national disaster over the ongoing forest fires and drought in Bolivia. The Ministry of the Environment reports more than 55 active wildfires across Bolivia that have thus far burned more than 1.4 million hectares nationwide. The Government indicates that the wildfires are burning in the departments of Beni, Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz, attributing the spread to the convergence of farmers using fires to clear land as an agricultural practice and increasing drought conditions that, along with high winds, further enable the uncontrolled spread of the fires.

The Chuquisaca and Santa Cruz authorities have already declared their departments as disaster areas. In declaring the emergency, authorities note that difficult access conditions in several affected areas are limiting response efforts. Defence officials add that Bolivia will likely not see any rain over the next 10-15 days, further complicating firefighting efforts.

The Government, who acknowledges that current firefighting efforts require further support, says that the emergency declaration now empowers the Foreign Ministry to seek international assistance. Under the declaration, the Ministry of the Economy can now allocate response resources as well, while the Ministry of Defence can provide support to authorities in affected departments and municipalities.

Per local NGOs, fires in Bolivia have claimed some 2.3 million hectares of forest and grassland areas from January up to the last week of September 2020, an area slightly larger than El Salvador.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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